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The new Music Library building opened in October 1997. Total cost, including furnishings and equipment, was $2,979,300. It was named for Dr. Howard M. Skinner on May 6, 2005.

The main floor has 15,000 square feet of floor space, almost all of it patron-accessible. Basement storage, mechanical, and archival facilities account for another 3,000 square feet.

Featured on the north wall of the computer commons is a mosaic mural designed and created by Darrell Anderson, who also designed part of a mosaic inlaid floor at Denver International Airport.

See a map of the library.

From the public computer workstations, patrons can access the University of Northern Colorado Libraries' online catalog via the Music Library homepage, as well as other databases useful to music and general research.  Additionally, the building provides access to UNC's wireless network.

The library is also equipped with 3 facilities for instruction and study purposes.  For more information about room space, study areas and classroom availability, please visit our room space page.

Exterior of Skinner Music Library

Display case

Display case


  • 32 PCs, all accessing the Internet and equipped with Microsoft Office and CD/DVD players
  • 3 Macs, all accessing the Internet and equipped with Microsoft Office and specialized music software
  • 2 notebook computers
  • 3 laptop ports
  • wireless network access throughout the building
  • 7 CD players
  • 4 LP turntables
  • 2 cassette decks
  • 2 reel-to-reel tape players
  • 7 video players (5 VHS, 1 Beta, 1 Laserdisc) with monitors
  • 2 photocopiers/scanners (see our photocopying and media duplication policy)
  • 1 scanner
  • 3 microform readers (microfilm, microfiche, microcard)
  • 158 seats


We have the second-largest music collection in Colorado, and the largest collection of music CDs that patrons can check out and take home with them. We're especially strong in jazz recordings (more than 7,000), complementing the School of Music's exceptional Jazz Studies program. As of June 30, 2015, we owned slightly more than 135,000 items including the following:

  • 67,000 scores
  • 27,500 books
  • 27,000 CDs
  • 11,500 LPs
  • 2,000 DVDs and videos
  • access to approximately 4 million tracks of music via streaming audio

We’re a busy facility with a devoted patron population. Almost one-third of UNC Libraries’ circulation occurs in the Skinner Music Library, although music and musical theatre majors constitute barely five percent of the student body.




Unique Collections

We also have several unique collections:

  • Almost 1,000 recorded UNC concerts and recitals (all searchable in the library catalog)
  • 6,900 individual songs ("sheet music"), mostly from the early twentieth century (also searchable in the library catalog)
  • The Henry T. Ginsburg collection of salon orchestra music sets
  • Unpublished and/or manuscript works by J. DeForest Cline, Emmy Brady Rogers, Jean Miller, and Marta Teodonno